There's something resolutely American about Tom Ford. The six foot tall Texas-born designer, who became well known for heading the powerhouse Gucci, knows how to sell sexy clothes and get to the bottom line. He has his own brand, after his own name. It could be the sign of an egotist, or a supremely confident man.
He carved a niche for himself, as an actor in television commercials before he became famous for his clothes. He had the dark and brooding good looks. He had charisma in spades. Dropping out of NYU and hanging out with the "fabulous people" at Studio 54, he came to several conclusions: one about his sexuality, and two, about his passion for fashion design.
He previously took over Yves Saint Laurent, which makes total sense. Saint Laurent was known for his gender bending designs and unisex vision, his feminist touch. Tom Ford empowers women and men to take control of their own sex appeal with his Tom Ford Brand. Like Dov Charney, founder of the sensuous American Apparel universe, Tom Ford crafts garments that scandalize and hug every curve of the body. His campaigns are wanton ads to enjoy the good life.
He is thoughtful about the objectification of beautiful women in the fashion industry, "I don’t understand why our culture both worships and objectifies beauty, and then slams those of us who participate in it. Because I make that detachment, I’m capable of objectifying a beautiful woman, but that doesn't demean her in any way. She’s beautiful because she’s a creature who exists physically, in the physical world, who happens to be in a moment of prime."
Tom Ford has appeared in his own ads, capitalizing on his own male model handsomeness, a look that his female buyers surely appreciate. He knows how to get to the zeitgeist, and perhaps that is what makes him such an American success story.
Check out Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2013 Collection Look Book, especially the space-aged gladiator-esque shoes, here.